Peel Region using salt wisely to protect the environment, wildlife

03 Jan 2023 7:04 AM | Smart About Salt (Administrator)

Peel Region using salt wisely to protect the environment, wildlife (mississauga.com)

Peel Region is using salt mindfully this winter and reminding residents to use road and sidewalk salt wisely as well.

Winter road operations in Peel are underway as snow and icy conditions continue, a recent news release stated. Colder nights at or below freezing can cause the formation of ice on the cold pavement, resulting in roads that are less safe for travel.

As snow or freezing rain conditions continue, road and sidewalk crews, parking lot owners and residents apply rock salt. Unfortunately, salt doesn’t disappear when snow and ice melts as it mixes with water from melting snow or rain and ends up in our rivers and lakes. This salt can harm the environment, wildlife, and quality of our drinking water, the release added.

To ensure driver safety and support a healthy environment, Peel Region said it monitors the weather and sends trucks to apply liquid salt brine to roads and bridges, where needed. The water in the brine evaporates and the salt residue leftover forms a barrier to reduce slippery conditions.

Salt brine contains less salt and sticks to the roadway; whereas, solid rock salt, when spread on a dry roadway, will scatter to the edges by moving vehicles and more will have to be applied, the release added. If there is no precipitation, the salt brine stays active on the road for several days.

“We are committed to keeping our roads safe and clear of snow and ice while applying salt responsibly. Peel Region roads operations continue to research new methods and alternatives to help reduce the amount of salt used, while maintaining our bare pavement standards,” said Mark Crawford, manager of road operations and maintenance, transportation and public works for Peel.

“The region has a salt management plan in place that focuses on best practices and techniques to ensure the safety of our residents while minimizing the impacts of salt to the environment.”

Peel Region is asking residents to use salt wisely this winter by sharing the following tips:

• Shovel first. Clear snow from your driveway and walkways as soon as possible.

• Only use salt once the snow is removed in areas needed for safety.

• Only use salt in temperatures above -10 C and try using alternatives such as sand, grit or non-clumping kitty litter when temperatures dip below -10 C.

• Remember salt doesn’t need to be seen to be working.

• Excess salt left on driveways and walkways can be swept up and used another time.

Learn how to manage salt use at home or at commercial properties and what the region is doing to reduce salt use while maintaining safe roads.

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